When people who are suffering from substance abuse make the choice to pursue a life of sobriety, they often need professional treatment in order to do so successfully. There are many different styles of treatment, ranging from outpatient to residential (inpatient) facilities.

Different methods of treatment offer different benefits for patients, and choosing the right treatment depends upon the patient’s individual needs. At the Discovery Institute of New Jersey, one of the forms of treatment that we offer is an intensive outpatient program, also known as an IOP.

What is an Intensive Outpatient Program?

An IOP is a higher level of treatment than an OP, and typically consists of 9 hours of clinical treatment during the week, usually spread over 3 to 5 days. Treatment can be done on an outpatient, intensive outpatient, or residential basis. The difference in these programs is the amount of time dedicated to treatment and the level of immersion the patient experiences when enrolled in their recovery program.

Each style of treatment has specific advantages, and individuals with diverse needs can benefit from each program based upon their specific treatment goals and life circumstances at the time of their admission into rehab. The programs most typically offered by drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities are:

Outpatient Program (OP)

This is the least intensive level of treatment, and it occurs on a part-time outpatient basis in which the client attends clinical hours for one portion of the week, while maintaining a job, enrollment in school, or other normal daily routines for most of the week.

Outpatient programs typically consist of about 1-2 clinical hours of treatment per week, in which clients attend group and individual therapy sessions. During the rest of the week, clients live at home or in a sober living facility and are free to pursue employment, hobbies, and normal daily life.

The OP stage of treatment is ideal for clients who have completed a more intensive level of care, such as inpatient or intensive outpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment programs provide the continued recovery support clients need when they are transitioning back into “the real world” following full-time treatment.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Patients attend treatment part-time during the day or evening, attending group and individual therapy sessions. During non-treatment hours, patients may live at home or in a sober living residence.

Patients can pursue part-time work or academic commitments in their free time and are often encouraged to attend regular recovery meetings through 12 step programs in the community. An intensive outpatient program is a step between residential treatment and outpatient treatment. These programs offer the benefit of continuing regular, frequent therapeutic addiction treatment for clients while also allowing them to slowly adjust to building a regular daily routine.

Intensive outpatient treatment is a great option for clients who have recently completed inpatient treatment and still need or desire immersive treatment and support as they re-assimilate into society and life outside of treatment.

intensive outpatient info

Do I Need Inpatient or Residential Treatment Before Outpatient?

Inpatient addiction treatment is the most intensive level of care. Patients who are enrolled in inpatient or residential treatment attend clinical hours full time and live on campus at their treatment facility under 24/7 care by the clinical and professional staff.

This is recommended as the first step for most patients. In order to be successful, it is highly recommended that patients follow an aftercare plan post-treatment, through an IOP or OP program. This will allow them to continue receiving the support they need throughout their recovery journey.

What Are Signs That an Individual Needs Professional Help for an Addiction Problem?

Often, people who suffer from addiction are unaware of the extent of their problem. In other cases, individuals who have a friend or family member who is struggling may not see the entirety of the problem and may not notice the signs of addiction in their loved one’s life.

Since these cases are not uncommon, it’s best for individuals to be more aware of what it means to have a substance use problem and how this issue affects people, especially in cases of long-term drug or alcohol abuse. 

When it comes to identifying an addiction problem, there are several signs which can indicate that an individual is struggling with substance abuse. Some of the signs may be evident while others may be harder to detect. In any case, however, it’s best to check for these signs in order to make sure the substance use problem is brought to an end and the individual who is suffering gets the help he or she needs.

Those who are struggling with alcoholism or drug abuse may:

  • Experience behavioral changes.
  • Withdraw from friends and family, spending more time alone.
  • Frequently drink more than they intend to drink.
  • Use medication when it is not necessary or take larger doses than recommended.
  • Struggle with financial instability, frequently ask to borrow money, or steal cash.
  • Experience physical changes, such as weight loss, weight gain, or bloodshot eyes.
  • Suffer from sleep problems, such as excessive sleeping or lack of sleep.
  • Have difficulty keeping up with responsibilities at home, work, or school.
  • Struggle with depression, anxiety, and various personality changes.

If an individual shows any of these signs, it may mean that he or she is suffering from an addiction problem. If this is, in fact, the case, it’s important for the person to get help immediately. A professional treatment program can assist people in becoming free from addiction.

What are the Main Benefits of Outpatient Programs in NJ

Many individuals throughout the state of New Jersey have found themselves suffering from substance abuse disorder. From alcoholism to heroin abuse, from cocaine addiction to prescription misuse, substance use disorders have taken over the families and lives of hundreds and thousands of people in NJ. 

Thankfully, however, there are numerous addiction rehab centers throughout this state, including our facility here at Discovery Institute. Here at our treatment center, we are dedicated to helping the citizens and families in our area who have been negatively impacted by the effects of alcoholism and drug addiction.

We know that the individuals who come to us for help are struggling with very serious challenges. It’s not always easy to find the best help possible for specific and individualized needs. But, at Discovery, our goal is to provide people with the assistance and guidance they need in order to successfully end the addiction in their lives.

If you live in or near the New Jersey area, you may be wondering about the benefits of receiving treatment from an intensive outpatient program in NJ. The truth of the matter is that the best place to get treatment will vary from person to person. But, for you, our New Jersey rehab facility just might prove to be the most effective and helpful place for you to gain freedom from addiction.

It may be helpful to get treatment near home, especially if you plan to attend an intensive outpatient program for your recovery from substance abuse. As long as you have a safe home environment that is free from drugs and alcohol, will be supportive and conducive to your recovery, and offers you peace, you may be able to live at home while getting treatment through our IOP.

But, If your home environment isn’t the best place for you to live while you are going through this part of the recovery journey, a sober living environment here in New Jersey may be just what you need in order to maintain sobriety outside of our treatment facility.

The Intensive Outpatient Program at the Discovery Institute

If you have been looking for effective IOP programs in NJ, the Discovery Institute offers an intensive outpatient program for people suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. The program can be a step down after residential treatment, and can also be a place to start for people that have life and family commitments that don’t allow them to take the time for residential treatment.

Intensive outpatient rehab programs address the same issues of addiction and recovery that residential treatment does. The key difference is that, at the end of the day, clients return to their own homes or to their sober living residences.

This is a good program for clients who have a solid support system at home that can aid in their recovery, or for clients who are unable to commit to inpatient, full-time treatment due to family, work, or school obligations. IOP also benefits clients who need additional support and treatment after completing an inpatient rehab program.

At Discovery, we create an individualized intensive outpatient approach for each of our clients. We base the approach on the individual needs of those who come to us from help. Upon the arrival of a patient, our staff conducts an intake assessment to determine the individual’s addiction history and any underlying medical or psychological conditions that may contribute to addictive behaviors.

Through a comprehensive medical exam, our doctors identify physical conditions that require treatment alongside addiction treatment, and diagnose any co-occurring mood disorders, commonly referred to as a “dual diagnosis”. It is important to identify and treat these issues to give our patients the best possible chance at recovery.

The Discovery Institute for Addictive Disorders has a comprehensive outpatient program which includes both the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and the standard/traditional Outpatient Program (OP.) The Intensive Outpatient Program provides nine hours of services per week while the Outpatient Program typically meets for one to two hours per week.

Throughout the IOP and OP, clients usually participate in a variety of individual and group therapy sessions that promote recovery, healthy coping skills, emotional processing, communication, and self-esteem. Discovery Institute encourages involvement in 12 step fellowship meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, alongside IOP and OP participation.

During these programs, clients can experience psycho-educational lectures about the disease of addiction in order to gain a deeper understanding of what they are dealing with in their lives. In addition to these educational opportunities, individuals will have the chance to gain skills and get the support they need as they partake in group therapy sessions which have a strong emphasis on relapse prevention skill development. 

Every individual who is suffering from addiction has a unique story and will require a specific and individualized approach to treatment. The journey through treatment should reflect this fact. All IOP services, like every program at Discovery, are tailored to meet the individual needs of each client. Clients range from those mandated to treatment through drug court and probation, to individuals who enter the outpatient program voluntarily. 

Getting Started With Your Recovery Journey

Often, finances are one of the main concerns people face when they are considering getting treatment for substance abuse problems. For many people, paying for treatment can be very difficult and even seemingly impossible. Since treatment can be expensive, many individuals feel that they will not be able to get the professional help they need.

But, here at Discovery Institute, we understand the concerns our clients may have regarding payment for treatment. So, we do our best to work with each one in order to ensure that treatment is both attainable and effective.

At Discovery, we accept most major insurances. If you need financial assistance, please contact us to see if you qualify.

Our treatment center also provides services for individuals who are mandated to treatment due to DUI convictions. Our clinicians work closely with the Intoxicated Drivers Resource Center (IDRC).

All clients, regardless of how they came to choose Discovery Institute, are closely monitored and are randomly drug-screened on a weekly basis via urinalysis. This is done in order to ensure the safety and sobriety of the members of our community here.

At Discovery, we work to make aftercare arrangements for all of our patients, in an effort to maintain continuity of care. Outpatient and intensive outpatient clients are held accountable and supported by clinical staff during treatment to ensure a smooth transition back into the community and normal, everyday life.

Discovery’s outpatient staff also aids clients in need of housing, and all clients receive appropriate referrals for physicians and mental health practitioners after completion of treatment. If you need quality IOP services to support your recovery journey, please call Discovery to get in contact with us and learn more about how we can help!

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.